Hāna Kayak & Snorkel Story
Hāna is still the real Hawai’i.
After you’ve enjoyed the breathtaking drive to one of the last truly Hawaiian spots in the Islands, there are many reasons you’ll want to stay in Hāna. One is the unique, uncrowded beaches, each one offering peace, fun and adventure — from stand-up paddling to throw net fishing to surfing the break at Hāmoa Beach. Start your adventure right across the street from Travaasa Hāna, Maui, at historic Kapueokahi, aka Hāna Bay, which offers activities for the whole family .
Ka’uiki Hill provides the stunning backdrop for Hāna Beach Park. One of Travaasa’s adventure guides, Mapuana Kalaniopio-Cook, tells about the creation of Ka’uiki during her Historic Walking Tours of Hāna:
“The mischievous demi-god Maui lived in Hāna and loved how the grey misty rain comes in off the ocean and settles in and casts rainbows in Hāna Bay. He named his daughter Noenoe Uakea O Hāna (light misty rain of Hāna). She loved the ocean and swam here often. One day she met a nohea loa (handsome) man named Ka’uiki, adopted son of the menehune (little people). They watched over him because he was a gift from Kanaloa (God of the Sea). Noenoe and Ka’uiki fall passionately in love, but knew that, eventually, he had to return to the sea. She went to her dad and begged him to use his powers to keep them together. Maui is burdened with the responsibility of trying to please his daughter and so with a heavy heart he comes up with the idea to change them to non-human things so that they can be together. He turns Ka’uiki into a high hill overlooking the bay and his daughter into Noenoe Uakea O Hāna, the misty rain for which she was named. Now on most mornings, you can see Noenoe caressing her lover as the sun rises. When they come together, a light rain sheds tears of joy over Hāna. Maui’s happiness makes the rainbows that can be seen over Hāna Bay.”
Mapuana also points out Pu’u Ka’uiki, the cave at the foot of the hill, where Queen Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha I, was born. She went on to rule as co-regent and was considered a pioneer in championing the rights of native Hawaiian women.
“Hāna Bay is a family-friendly beach where locals have gathered for centuries for Hukilau [fish gathering], outrigger paddling contests, swimming, fishing and every water sport you can think of,” says Mapuana. “Beginning boogie boarders will find it easy to body surf at Hāna before going on to more advanced beaches like Hāmoa.
Hāna Reef, has been described by marine biologists as one of the healthiest reefs in Hawai’i, and Kevin wants to keep it that way. His motto is: “ Aloha Ke Kai” (Love & Respect of the Sea) and he has founded a non-profit and is aligning with University of Hawaii’s Ocean Science Departments and local K-12 marine science educational programs to help study and preserve this environment for future generations. “I want my guests to understand how beautiful and fragile this place is. My guests can participate — rent cameras and take pictures and videos of the reef that get uploaded to websites for study. A portion of the rental fee goes towards reef preservation, so everyone wins.
It is the connection that is important. My guests connect to this place and come back to visit over and over, and I hope that our local kids learn that science isn’t just something in a book, it is right here in their front yard.”
Hāna Bay has been the “icebox” for generations of Hawaiians, who catch and gather their seafood there. They also work to preserve the sea life for generations to come. Travaasa Adventure Guide Andrew Park teaches guests traditional Hawaiian Throw Net Fishing. As part of that, he stresses how local fishermen practice sustainable techniques so there will always be something for the next person to catch. “We respect the closed seasons for fish, respect the sizes that we can catch, and take just what the family can eat. In our culture, we always give our first catch back to the ocean.”
So if you’re up for swimming, boogie boarding, stand-up paddling, snorkeling or taking a throw net fishing lesson, Hāna Bay is the perfect getaway for you. To explore other Hāna Beaches check out the links below and for more information about Travaasa Hāna, Maui rates and packages, go to www.Travaasa.com.